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3 Tips to Set Goals For Your Dancers in Your Classes

As a dance studio owner or teacher, you understand the importance of facilitating your students’ growth over time. Many of your students will start at your dance studio at a young age, giving you a prime opportunity to help them develop both personally and professionally. To hone their dance skills over time and shape them into confident performers, you need to set concrete goals.

Goal-setting is an important part of your students’ learning and training process. By laying out objectives and milestones to achieve, your students will have a clearer understanding of what they are working towards—whether they’re gearing up to nail an audition or learn a new skill. However, it’s not only important to set goals for your students, but also to create roadmaps for how students will reach these goals.

To develop measurable goals for your students with plans on how to achieve them, use these top tips:

Setting goals will give your students a greater sense of purpose in the studio and teach them valuable life skills that will extend outside of class. Overall, your students will be happier, your dance families will be eager to enroll their dancers in more classes, and your studio will benefit from an increased customer retention rate. It’s a win-win!

Follow the SMART model

The SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound) goal model breaks down broad goals into actionable steps. This way, you’ll have a good idea of how to best prepare your dancers to achieve their goals and measure their progress. Plus, your dancers will know exactly what they need to work on to make their aspirations a reality.

For example, let’s say your dance studio is planning to host a dance recital at the end of the year to showcase what students have learned. Your dancers have been working on their ballet skills, but they still haven’t mastered pirouettes. Here’s how you can turn this area of improvement into a SMART goal:

  • Specific: Dancers will work on balance, spotting, and proper body alignment in order to flawlessly perform consecutive pirouettes without losing momentum.
  • Measurable: The goal for the entire class is to increase the number of consecutive pirouettes from a double pirouette to a triple pirouette.
  • Attainable: When students attended our first five ballet workshop classes, they gained the foundational skills to learn how to complete two pirouettes. Therefore, if we focus more closely on pirouettes in future classes, increasing the number of consecutive rotations to three seems reasonable.
  • Relevant: Pirouettes are an essential ballet technique, and understanding how to execute them will prepare dancers to complete more complex steps. Plus, mastering pirouettes helps dancers develop core strength, which is applicable to all dance styles.
  • Time-bound: Within six months, students should be able to complete a triple pirouette.

Following the SMART framework ensures you’re setting goals that align with your overarching plans for your students and will advance their skillset. As you set goals, make sure to share them with your teaching staff so everyone can work towards helping your dancers progress.

Set up one-on-one meetings with students

Each of your students is unique and has their own strengths, weaknesses, and hopes for their futures. Therefore, it’s important to not only interact with your dancers in the class setting, but also meet with your dancers one-on-one—either virtually or in person. This way, you can understand their personal goals and the headway they’re making in achieving them.

For example, you might have a student who needs to perfect their performance before auditioning for a performing arts college this year. Together, you can help the student formulate goals, such as:

  • Improving their technical proficiency
  • Developing high-quality choreography that showcases their prowess
  • Enhancing their storytelling ability

Depending on the extent of the personal goals your students have, you might want to set up private lessons so you can more effectively support their learning on an individual basis. This is not only a great opportunity for your dance teachers to develop stronger relationships with students, but it also opens up another revenue stream to help keep your studio running.

Once you’ve set goals with a given student, you can share these insights with their parents so their families can also support them in making these dreams a reality—whether that be by driving them to additional classes, buying the appropriate dancewear, or simply giving them words of encouragement.

An easy way to communicate with parents is by leveraging mobile apps. DanceStudio-Pro’s guide to the best dance studio apps recommends investing in software that allows you to set up a mobile chat between dance parents and your studio. Then, you can send updates, reminders, and important messages to your dance families at any time, on the go.

Plus, the right dance studio software will allow parents to register their dancers for classes, complete online payments, and view their dancer’s schedule from their phones. Do your research to find user-friendly mobile apps to streamline your dance studio’s management and make it easier than ever to connect with your dance families.

Develop physical and mental wellness guidelines

Along with setting dance-specific goals, it’s also important to select objectives that encourage your students to be both physically and mentally fit. This holistic goal-setting model ensures your students are taking care of themselves and will be ready to practice and perform once they step inside your studio.

Consider setting the following physical and mental health goals for your students:

  • Get plenty of rest before rehearsals and performances. Sleeping at least 8 hours each night will ensure your body has enough energy to tackle a new day.
  • Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, and balance your diet to get the nutrients you need.
  • Practice self-care and break up your day with activities that make you feel happy, such as reading, conversing with friends, or going for a walk.
  • Stay hydrated throughout the day.
  • Prioritize your mental health and manage stress by meditating, journaling, or spending time in nature.

In your one-on-one meetings with students, ask how they’re doing in their personal lives outside of dance. Give them practical advice based on their responses. This will show your students that you care about them and want them to succeed in all areas of their lives, not just as dancers.

Whether you’re getting your dancers ready for a performance or want them to grow their skills in a small class setting, setting goals is highly beneficial to both your studio and your students.

Check in often with your students to see how they’re progressing towards reaching their goals and help them develop healthy habits so they can make their dreams happen. With the right technology and dance studio apps, you can easily communicate with your dance families and students from anywhere, at any time, about their goals.

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